Class A Rankings Week #5 (12/24/2023)

1.            Hermantown (7A) (4-1-2)

Past Week Results: T 2-2 Duluth Denfeld, L 1-3 Rosemount

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs #3 Delano, 12/28 vs #5 East Grand Forks, 12/30 @ Shakopee

The Hawks had a tough week which started by tying Duluth Denfeld, a team that has been a nightmare for Class A teams to play. They then fell to a very good Top 10 AA Rosemount which there really is no shame in but it did leave them winless on the week. While the results won’t drop them down because they still have no Class A losses, both games did expose the one question mark with this team and that is depth scoring.  If the opponent can shut down the Hawks top line do they have enough depth up front to overcome that in big games. That question will be one they will need to continue to try and answer as the season progresses. This upcoming week they can prove their #1 ranking right as they take on surging #3 Delano and resurgent #5 East Grand Forks to stay in the top spot. Also, the game on the road against a Top 15 AA Shakopee game will be very tough.

2.            Warroad (8A) (8-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 3-1 #11 Thief River Falls, W 4-3 OT #5 East Grand Forks

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Grand Forks Central, 12/28 vs Grand Forks Red River, 12/29 vs #20 Providence Academy

The Warriors had a big time statement week within Section 8A which they started  with a good home victory over the defensive minded Prowlers. In a game that was tied 1-1 late in the 2nd period the Warriors were able to score a huge goal in the last minute of the period and then add an insurance goal in the third period to give them the big 8A win. They followed that up by picking up a huge win against their rival East Grand Forks on “Friday Night Ice” when they took down the Greenwave in overtime in what was a very good hockey game. The Warriors have now won seven games in a row and they will host their annual holiday tournament with two tough Grand Forks teams and an offensive Providence Academy coming in.

3.            Delano (2A) (7-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 4-2 #20 Providence Academy, W 2-1 OT #8 Mahtomedi, W 5-0  #4 St. Cloud Cathedral

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 @ #1 Hermantown, 12/28 @ Rock Ridge, 12/29 @ Greenway

The Tigers had themselves one heck of a week which started by collecting an important Section 2A win when they took down Providence Academy on the road. They then picked up another big win vs the Defending Class A Champions Mahtomedi, of course in overtime, in the middle of the week. Delano then wrapped up their statement week by winning their 7th straight game when they shutout the highly rated Crusaders of Cathedral at home to stamp their ticket to race up the ranking poll in Class A this week. Now they head north for a very difficult trip which starts with stop at #1 Hermantown and also includes tests with Rock Ridge and Greenway as the Tigers will hope this Northern swing goes better than it did to start the year.

4.            St. Cloud Cathedral (5A) (7-2-1)

Past Week Results: W 8-5 #6 Orono, L 0-5 #3 Delano

Upcoming Schedule: 12/28 vs Bemidji, 12/29 vs Sartell, 12/30 vs St Cloud Public

The Crusaders had an up and down week as life without their starting goalie proved to be difficult. Their week did start out on a very good note as they were able to overcome some shaky goaltending and out score #6 Orono in a wide open 8-5 racehorse type game. However, the ability to overcome giving up 5 goals a game came to a crashing halt to end the week their top line was shut down by a defensive juggernaut in #3 Delano and the shaky tending continued as they gave up 5 goals on only 22 shots. They will now look to rebound this week and continue their decade long win streak in the Granite City Classic Showcase as they have not lost a game at their holiday tournament since 2013 but with goalie situation and three 8AA teams on the slate their record holiday tourney winning streak could be in serious jeopardy.

5.            East Grand Forks (8A) (7-4-0)

Past Week Results: W 8-1 Bemidji, W 8-0 Fargo Davies, L 3-4 OT #3 Warroad

Upcoming Schedule: 12/29 @ #1 Hermantown

The Greenwave got their week started in impressive fashion as they went into Bemidji and routed a decent AA team and held them to only one goal. They stayed hot when they hosted Fargo Davies and routed the boys from North Dakota at home and most importantly got a shutout in the process. However, they were unable to finish the week at (3-0-0) as they fell to their rival Warroad in a great hockey game that they lost in overtime. The loss is not killer as overall EGF appears to be back on track and they have found their starter in net. Now they have a major test this week as they hit the road in their only game when they head to #1 Hermantown to take on the mighty Hawks.

6.            Orono (2A) (7-3-0)

Past Week Results: L 5-8 #4 St Cloud Cathedral, W 4-1 Hopkins

Upcoming Schedule: 12/30 vs #8 Mahtomedi

The Spartans lost a tough game to #4 St Cloud Cathedral at the start of the week in a game where their defense uncharacteristically let them down. In a game where they were able to jump out to a nice 4-2 1st period lead they were just unable to handle the Crusaders potent 1st line and dropped a tough game on the road. They did rebound though at the end of the week and went into and took care of a AA Hopkins team and after 10 games there is a lot to like about this team. They will hope for more health and to get their full lineup back and hope that it brings more scoring for a team that has struggled at times putting the puck in the net. This week they have one game over the holiday break and it’s a huge one vs the defending state champs #8 Mahtomedi in a game that could have major implications of State seeding down the line.

7.            Northfield (1A) (8-1-2)

Past Week Results: W 6-2 New Prague, W 4-1 Mankato East

Upcoming Schedule: Idle

The Raiders rebounded nicely this week after the disappointing trip to the cities last weekend. Northfield was able to take care of their former 1A rival now AA New Prague with surprising ease to start the week and they then took care of a decent Mankato East squad as they entered back into Big 9 Conference play. Both wins were needed as it does ease some of the concerns and alarm bells that were surrounding this team after the disappointment from last weekend. Now Northfield will take the holiday break off and rest and hopefully finally get fully healthy and be ready to come back in 2024 and defend their Section 1A title.

8.            Mahtomedi (4A) (3-7-0)

Past Week Results: L 1-2 OT #3 Delano

Upcoming Schedule: 12/30 @ #6 Orono

The Zephyrs continued their tough start to the season this week as they fell to now (3-7-0) in their first 10 games. Mahtomedi is a very hard team to get a read on but they do appear to have some glaring issues of late. Early in the year it was leaky defense as they gave up 4 or more goals in their first 6 games to start (2-4-0). Now while defense has improved the offense has gone cold as they have only scored more than 1 goal once in their last 5 games. It all adds up to an ugly record heading into the holiday break. Now I am giving them the benefit of the doubt as of the seven losses three are to ranked AA teams (STA, HM & Centennial) and the other four are to Top 5 ranked Class A teams (#1 Hermantown, #2 Warroad, #3 Delano & #5 EGF). They do however now have a must win game against #6 Orono this week over the holidays for not only the rankings sake but they are looking at potentially being unseeded at State as it sits today.

9.            Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (7A) (5-3-0)

Past Week Results: L 1-3 St Michael Albertville

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Apple Valley/Burnsville, 12/28 vs TBD, 12/29 vs TBD

The Lumberjacks had a rough week which started by dropping a contest to AA STMA which is a game that’s tough to judge for two reasons one the Knights are a middle of the pack AA team that would more than likely beat many in this Class A Ranking many nights. The other was that Cloquet appeared to have sickness hit their locker room which may have had an impact on this game as they had to postpone their next game two days later with Cathedral due to being unable to field a team. They will look to use the extra rest to get healthy before they head into the Heritage Holiday Classic next week.  .

10.         Hibbing/Chisholm (7A) (7-4-0)

Past Week Result: W 7-4 Cambridge/Isanti

Upcoming Schedule: 12/26 vs #17 Breck, 12/27 TBD, 12/29 TBD

Hibbing is another really good young team that is progressing nicely and they have now won 6 of their last 7 games after a slow start out of the gates to the year. The win this week was challenging but keep in mind they were playing on outdoor ice during an unseasonably warm December making rink conditions not the best. Regardless, this young team found a way on the road to win a good hockey game and their sophomore goaltender moves to (5-0-0) on the year. Things are really starting to come together for this young team and they now have a very good test with an intriguing game vs a ranked Breck to open their holiday tournament in Blaine this week.

11.         Thief River Falls (8A) (4-3-1)

Past Week Results: L 1-3 #2 Warroad, W 5-0 Crookston

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Lake of the Woods, 12/28 vs Bismarck (ND)

The Prowlers had yet another (.500) week this time it was within Section 8A play. Thief River Falls showed two things within the Warroad game the first being that they should be able to contend and compete with any team in the state within Class A because of their elite defensive structure and goaltending. However, the other thing that showed up is they don’t appear to have the fire power needed to truly beat the elite team in Class A at this point of the season anyways. They did wrap up the week by shutting out 8A Crookston and they seem destined for the #3 seed come section time. More winnable game over the holidays with Lake of the Woods being the bigger game due to 8A Seeding implications

12.         Monticello (5A) (6-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 7-1 Princeton, W 7-0 Northern Edge

Upcoming Schedule: 12/28 vs Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, 12/29 vs Sauk Rapids, 12/30 vs Bemidji

The Moose had a big week and continued their solid start to the season so far. They were able to take care of some Mississippi 8 Conference foes this week which included a rout over Section 5A Princeton and they followed that up with another rout over Northern Edge. Monticello’s only two losses are vs Top 10 Class A teams in #6 Orono and #7 Northfield but they haven’t really had the quality wins yet except vs #15 Little Falls so they stay just outside the Top 10 for now. The Moose will head to the Granite City Classic Showcase this week where they should cruise in the first two games before having a good test with AA Bemidji.

13.         Alexandria (6A) (4-4-1)

Past Week Results: W 6-3 #14 Northern Lakes, W 5-1 #15 Little Falls

Upcoming Schedule: Idle

The Cards had an excellent week to rebound nicely from a rough opening few weeks of the season so far. They opened the week by proving that they are indeed the favorites again to head to St Paul in March out of Section 6A and the road to the Section Title will go through them and they got a statement win over Northern Lakes. They followed that up by going on the road and atoning for their previous early season loss to the Flyers to show they are starting to turn the corner as a group. Alexandria got some production out of their “Diaper Line” of youngsters and if those youngsters start to score consistently with the Senior leadership and tough defensive style they play the Cards will be tough for anyone in 6A to knock off come Section time. This week they will rest up and will hope to use the past week as a springboard into success for 2024. 

14.         Northern Lakes (6A) (6-1-0)

Past Week Results: L 3-6 #13 Alexandria, W 7-1 Wadena Deer Creek

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Hopkins, 12/28 vs TBD, 12/29 vs TBD

The Lightning got beat up and the first of their two matchups with the two time defending section 6A champs Alexandria to start the week. They were able to have the score tied at 2-2 after 1 period but it was Alexandria’s game from there and they not only beat the Lightning but they left Northern Lakes banged up as two main forwards had to leave the game due to upper body injuries and they will now miss some time. They did bounce back to beat 6A Wadena Deer Creek and as long as they win all of their remaining section games the second round matchup with the Cards on home ice will more than likely determine the #1 seed in 6A. This week Northern Lakes heads to Proctor for the Holiday Tournament hosted by the Rails and will take on AA Hopkins in the opening round.

15.         Little Falls (5A) (4-4-0)

Past Week Results: L 1-5  #13 Alexandria 

Upcoming Schedule: 12/28 vs Princeton, 12/29 vs River Lakes, 12/30 vs Bloomington Kennedy

The Flyers had another disappointing one game week as they were beaten soundly at home by an Alexandria team that they had beaten just a few weeks prior to fall back to .500 on the year. The Flyers had a chance to get back in the game late in the 2nd period with the Cards but they gave up a goal within a minute of cutting the Alex lead to one and they never really threatened from there. It’s been a tough 2 weeks for this team as they have mix matched lines and tried different things to ignite an offense that has suddenly gone ice cold. They will look to get back on track this week when they host their Holiday Tournament with two important Section 5A games on the docket they want to win to secure a Top three seed for Section 5A play.

16.         Luverne (3A) (8-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 18-2 Worthington, W 4-3 Dodge County

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Rochester Lourdes, 12/28 vs Albert Lea, 12/29 vs Austin

Roll Cards Roll opened their week by destroying Worthington in an ugly score for a Section 3A win. Luverne then turned around the next afternoon and picked up one of their nicer wins of the season when they took down a good Dodge County team 4-3 to head into the holiday break as the last remaining unbeaten record in all of Class A. Now they will head to Rochester and take on some Section 1A teams with a rematch vs Rochester Lourdes and then games vs Albert Lea and Austin as they try to continue their impressive start to the season.

17.         Breck (2A) (5-3-1)

Past Week Results: W 8-1 Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, W 11-3 Faribault

Upcoming Schedule: 12/26 vs #10 Hibbing, 12/27 TBD, 12/28 TBD

The Mustangs did exactly what they should have done as a Top 20 team against lower competition this week as they blew out two struggling programs to move above .500. Breck started the week by blowing out 2A LDC to get an important section win and then finished the week by blowing out Faribault as they scored 19 goals overall to have some momentum heading into the holiday break. Now they head to the Herb Brooks Holiday Tournament and have a very intriguing big game vs ranked #10 Hibbing to start their holiday slate off with a chance to get a big statement win.

18.         Minneapolis (2A) (4-5-0)

Past Week Results: L 1-4 Rock Ridge

Upcoming Schedule: 12/26 vs Minot (ND), 12/27 vs Roseau, 12/28 vs Spring Lake Park

The 612 crew had only one game this past week and they dropped it to a tough AA Rock Ridge crew. The loss is not a terrible one as the Wolverines have done some serious damage against Class A teams this winter. However, Minneapolis will now head into the Holiday break under .500 and in search of more consistency. It won’t get any easier next week as they head all the way up to Roseau for the Holidays and they will hope the long trip can serve for some team bonding and this group will try to find some momentum as they look toward the new year.

19.         Proctor (7A) (6-4-0)

Past Week Results: W 6-0 Greenway

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Brookfield (Wis.), 12/28 TBD, 12/29 TBD

The Rails took care of business in their only game of the week as they won an important Section 7A game to help them strengthen their grip on the number 4 seed and a home ice quarterfinal game. Proctor took care of business at home vs Greenway as they blew open a close game with a big 4 goal third period and that was more than enough for their excellent senior goalie to shut the door from there. Now they head into their Holiday tournament where they will take on a Brookfield Wisconsin team and look to win their own holiday classic for some momentum heading into 2024.

20.         Providence Academy (2A) (3-6-0)

Past Week Results: L 2-4 #3 Delano

Upcoming Schedule: 12/27 vs Grand Forks Red River, 12/28 vs Grand Forks Central, 12/29 vs #2 Warroad

The Lions land in the Top 20 this week for now. They played a red hot #3 Delano team very tough in their only game of the week but ultimately were beaten on their home ice. The loss makes that four vs ranked Class A teams (#3 Delano, #4 Cathedral, #7 Northfield & #18 MPLS) and with a AA loss to Rock Ridge as well and the schedule has not made it easy for Louie Wehmann and crew. It wont get any easier this week when they head to Warroad and take on the #2 ranked Warriors along with two tough North Dakota teams.

Next Five Notable Teams-

•              New Ulm (3A) (8-2-0)- The Eagles got upset by Hutchinson, a team Providence has beaten 9-1, to start their week. It’s a result that does seem a bit alarming but they were able to win another 3A game vs Windom to finish the week on a more positive note. Now they will head up to Fergus Falls for the holiday break and be tested by some quality teams just outside the Top 20 ranking.

•              Southwest Christian/Richfield (4A) (4-3-0)- The Stars got back on track this week after the tough three loss week previously that included dropping a home game to New Ulm. They were able to pick up an important Section 4A win over Simley and then finished the week by beating a struggling Blake team to get back above .500. They now head to Proctor this week for the 3rd annual Bill McGann Holiday Classic where they will look to make some noise.

•              Dodge County (1A) (5-4-0)- The Wildcats dropped their only game of the week in a good contest vs unbeaten Luverne on the road. In a game they fell behind by three goals they did make a good late charge but were unable to ever lead and they ultimately dropped the game. Now they head to Rochster this week where they will play up in the Gold Division and take on some AA teams to challenge themselves over the holiday break.

•              Detroit Lakes (8A) (4-4-0)- The Lakers moved back to .500 on the season as they picked up a win over Breckenridge/Wahpeton in their only game of the week. Now the improving Lakers will head to Fergus Falls over the Holiday Break where they will get a chance at some revenge vs an Otters team that knocked them off at the start of the year and will also see a New Ulm team that could give them another quality Class A win.

•              La Crescent-Hokah (1A) (9-1-0)- The Lancers had another really productive week as they picked up two more important Section 1A wins when they took down Winona and Waseca. La Crescent is now in the driver seat for a top three seed in Section 1A and they can just about seal it up if they win all three games in Rochester over the Holiday Break when they take on 1A Albert Lea, Lourdes and Austin.

BHS Class A 2023-24 Section Break Downs Week #5 (12/24/23)

Section 1A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Northfield (8-1-2)

2- Dodge County (5-4-0)

3- La Crescent-Hokah (9-1-0)

4- Winona (4-4-0)

5- Albert Lea (3-5-1)

6- Rochester Lourdes (2-6-0)

7- Waseca (7-4-0)

8- Austin (3-5-0)

9- Faribault (2-7-0)

10- Red Wing (2-7-0)

Section 1A Outlook- Northfield went (2-0-0) outside of Section 1A this week. Dodge County lost their only game outside of the Section to the last unbeaten team in Class A. La Crescent got two big head to head 1A wins over Waseca & Winona but the Winhawks did rebound by blowing out 1A Albert Lea and the Bluejays rebounded by routing 1A Austin. Faibault went winless this week outside the section and Red Wing was idle.

Section 2A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Delano (7-2-0)

2- Orono (7-3-0)

3- Breck (5-3-1)

4- Minneapolis (4-5-0)

5- Providence Academy (3-6-0)

6- Mound Westonka (5-5-0)

7- Hutchinson (3-5-0)

8- Litchfield Dassel-Cokato (1-8-0)

Section 2A Outlook- Delano had a very impressive (3-0-0) week which included a Section 2A win over Providence Academy. Orono & Mound Westonka both went (.500) outside of the section this week. Breck picked up two wins on the week including a head to head 2A win over Litchfield Dassel-Cokato. Hutchinson showed some good signs of progress as they won two games this week outside of the section. Minneapolis lost their only game of the week outside of Section play.

Section 3A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Luverne (8-0-0)

2- New Ulm (8-2-0)

3- Mankato East (5-4-0)

4- Mankato West (4-4-1)

5- Minnesota River (6-2-0)

6- Marshall (6-5-0)

7- Windom (2-6-0)

8- Fairmont (1-9-0)

9- Worthington (0-7-0)

10- Redwood Valley (0-8-0)

Section 3A Outlook- Luverne is the last unbeaten team in Class A and they picked up a 3A win over Worthington. New Ulm went (.500) but did get a 3A win over Windom but the Eagles did get a 3A win over Fairmont earlier in the week. Mankato East picked up a big crosstown rivalry win over Mankato West. Minnesota River picked up two wins this week including a 3A win over Redwood Valley. Marshall went (2-0-0) outside of the section this week.

Section 4A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Mahtomedi (3-7-0)

2- Southwest Christian (4-3-0)

3- Chisago Lakes (6-5-0)

4- St Paul Highland Park (5-4-0)

5- Simley (3-6-1)

6- St Paul Academy (2-5-0)

7- South St Paul (3-5-0)

8- Bloomington Kennedy (2-7-0)

Section 4A Outlook- Mahtomedi lost their only game outside of the section to Top 5 Class A team. Southwest Christian won both their games which included a 4A win over Simley but the Spartans did come back and pick up a 4A win over Bloomington Kennedy. Chisago Lakes won all three of their games outside of the section to move above (.500) on the year for the first time. St Paul Academy got a nice 4A win over South St Paul and St Paul Highland Park lost their only game of the week outside the section.

Section 5A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- St Cloud Cathedral (7-1-1)

2- Monticello (6-2-0)

3- Little Falls (4-4-0)

4- Princeton (4-3-0)

5- River Lakes (3-4-1)

6- Pine City (3-6-0)

7- Sauk Rapids (4-5-1)

8- Becker/Big Lake (5-4-0)

9- Mora/Milaca (7-4-0)

Section 5A Outlook- St. Cloud Cathedral went (1-1-0) in games outside the section vs two Top 10 Class A Teams. Monticello won both their games this week including a 5A win over Princeton but the Tigers were able to get a 5A win of their own against Mora/Milaca. Pine City picked up a 5A win over Sauk Rapids this week. River Lakes won their only game outside of section play while Becker/Big Lake lost their only game outside the section.

Section 6A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Alexandria (4-4-1)

2- Northern Lakes (6-1-0)

3- Fergus Falls (2-5-0)

4- Wadena Deer Creek (3-6-0)

5- Morris Benson (2-7-0)

6- Willmar (3-6-0)

7- Prairie Centre (2-7-0)

8- Breckenridge/Wahpeton (1-7-0)

Section 6A Outlook- Alexandria had a statement week that included a big 6A win over Northern Lakes but the Lightning did rebound to get a 6A win over Wadena Deer Creek. Fergus Falls finally broke their 5 game losing streak with a 6A win over Willmar. Morris Benson, Prairie Centre & Breckenridge/Wahpeton all went winless outside of the section this week.

Section 7A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Hermantown (4-1-2)

2- Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (5-3-0)

3- Hibbing (7-4-0)

4- Proctor (6-4-0)

5- Greenway (2-6-0)

6- North Shore (5-2-0)

7- Ely (7-3-0)

8- International Falls (2-4-1)

9- Moose Lake (3-5-0)

Section 7A Outlook- Hermantown & Cloquet/Esko/Carlton both had disappointing weeks outside of Section 7A play. Hibbing has now won 6 of their last 7 games. Proctor picked up an important 7A head to head win over Greenway but the Raiders got the head to head win over Ely to end the week. North Shore won both their games this week including a head to head over Moose Lake. International Falls went (0-1-1) outside of section play this week.

Section 8A Rankings (12/24/23)

1- Warroad (8-1-0)

2- East Grand Forks (7-4-0)

3- Thief River Falls (4-3-1)

4- Detroit Lakes (4-4-0)

5- Crookston (4-3-0)

6- Red Lake Falls (6-2-0)

7- Park Rapids (5-3-1)

8- Lake of the Woods (5-2-0)

9- Kittson County Central (1-7-0)

10- Bagley/Fosston (2-6-0)

Section 8A Outlook- Warroad picked up two big head to head wins over 8A East Grand Forks & Thief River Falls this week. Detroit Lakes got back (.500) on the year with a win outside the section. Crookston took two tough losses which included a head to head loss to the Prowlers. Red Lake Falls won a very important head to head game vs Lake of the Woods but then was upset later in the week by Park Rapids. Both Kittson County Central & BagleyFosston went winless outside the section this week.